Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Hounslow Council Cuts

Following pressure from the public and from my office, Hounslow Council has agreed to look again at proposed cuts to libraries and has pledged to keep the majority of youth services as well as street cleansing services.
However, cuts to day centres such as Canal House in Brentford and the Chiswick Day Care Centre look set to go ahead. Canal House is the only council-run centre for those with mental health issues and provides support, counselling and advice for these people. Chiswick Day Care Centre provides a range of services for our senior citizens, with special support for those suffering from Alzheimer's disease or dementia.
I am extremely disappointed that the Council appears to be focused on making cuts to front line services rather than looking outside the box for more innovative solutions to managing the Council budget.
Plans to cut day centres such as Canal House take away vital services for our vulnerable residents at a time when mental health problems in the community are escalating and it's vital that we help people with these issues as early as possible. Without such support, there is a risk that people will be unable to live and work independently and may ultimately require far more support and funding from the council. Chiswick Day Care Centre also provides specialised care, for those with dementia, as well as being a community venue for our senior citizens to meet and spend time with others. This is a vital support network not just for those that use the centre but also provides respite for those who care for them.
I would urge the Council to discuss with local residents how we can use these facilities in a different and cost-effective way so that they are utilised fully and support those who are most in need.